Optimal Care Pathways

The optimal cancer care pathways (OCPs) describe the optimal cancer care for specific tumour types. They map the patient journey, aiming to foster an understanding of the whole pathway and its distinct components to promote quality cancer care and patient experiences.

The resources identify specific steps, or critical points along the care pathway and the recommended care at each point.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human services commissioned the Cancer Council Victoria to conduct a review of the Optimal Care Pathways. The pathways have since been endorsed by the National Cancer Expert Review Group (NCERG), Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Australia, and the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC). The OCPs are being implemented nationally.

Clinical OCPs

For consumers - 'what to expect' guides

Quick reference guides for consumers describe the optimal cancer care that should be provided at each step and what consumers can expect. The consumer OCPs have been developed into an interactive web portal and translated into other languages.

Visit www.cancerpathways.org.au

For General Practitioners and Practice Managers

To support you, your practice, and your patients, you can:

  • Refer newly diagnosed cancer patients to www.cancerpathways.org.au and print and provide them with a copy of the relevant tumour stream ‘what to expect' consumer guides.
  • Import the GP quick reference guides and consumer version PDFs into your GP software. Download the easy instructions.

Other resources


In 2012 the Department of Health commissioned the Cancer Council Victoria to conduct a review of the Optimal Care Pathways (then known as Patient Management Frameworks).

Review methodology

Governance arrangements

A Project Steering Committee was established December 2012 - December 2015 to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of the review. Committee members are outlined below.



Professor Robert Thomas (Chair)

Chief Cancer Advisor, Department of Health

Dr Ruth Bollard

General Surgeon Breast and Endocrine Specialist, Ballarat Health Service / Director, Grampians Integrated Cancer Service

Mrs Marilyn Dolling

Consumer representative

Ms Spiri Galetakis

Program Manager, Victorian Integrated Cancer Services, Cancer Strategy and Development, Department of Health

Ms Alison Hocking  

Acting Director, Allied Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Cameron Hunter

Head of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Hobart Hospital

A/Prof Michael Jefford

Senior Consultant Cancer Council Victoria/ Consultant Medical Oncologist and Director, Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Ms Angela Mellerick

Nurse Unit Manager Day Oncology, Austin Health

A/Professor, Jeremy Millar

Director, Radiation Oncology, Alfred Health; Chair of the Cancer Council Victoria's Clinical Network

Mr John Preston

Consumer Representative

Ms Katherine Simons

Program Manager, North Eastern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service

Ms Nicola Quin

Head of Division, Strategy and Support, Cancer Council Victoria

Mrs Alexandra Viner (nee Philpott)

Project Manager - Optimal Care Pathways

Ms Kathryn Whitfield

Acting Manager, Cancer Strategy and Development, Department of Health

Professor Helen Zorbas

Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Australia

For more information regarding the OCPs, or to send feedback, please email optimalcare.pathways@cancervic.org.au

Updated: 07 Feb, 2017